Purpose and scope of code of conduct policy
The Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) Inc. is committed to holding events that are safe and welcoming for all.
The Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) Inc. promotes critical reasoning and the free exchange of ideas. As skeptics, we uphold ideals of critical thinking and rational behaviour. We expect all participants in our events to observe high standards of courtesy. Robust discussions and critical examination of the beliefs of other attendees are anticipated and encouraged at our events. This in itself does not constitute hostile or antisocial conduct. However, intellectual dishonesty is not compatible with these ideals. The same goes for offensive imagery, language and behaviour from fellow skeptics, including those who hold opposing views. We aim to set an example to all members of the community, including those who may be critical of various groups or movements.
This policy applies to all speakers, organisers, volunteers and attendees of our events. ‘Events’ for the purpose of this document include any meeting or gathering organised by the Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) Inc. to which members of the public are invited.
In general, antisocial or hostile conduct includes any behaviour, language or imagery that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another person’s ability to enjoy and freely participate in the event, including related social events.
Such conduct includes but is not limited to:
* Disruption of a scheduled event by repeated interruption of a speaker
* Offensive attitudes expressed in relation to, or harassment based on, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or ethnicity
* Uninvited or inappropriate sexual advances or physical contact
* Stalking or persistent unwelcome attention, either physically or on social media.
This policy is applicable to all attendees’ conduct on social media, including all written and electronic forms of communications that take place outside the time and location of an event.
If a person engages in antisocial or hostile conduct, appropriate remedial action will be taken, which may include expulsion from the event without refund. Threats of such conduct made prior to an event may result in exclusion from that event.
Reporting and response to antisocial conduct
If you experience or witness antisocial or hostile conduct, discourtesy or harassment in connection with one of our events, please advise the event organisers immediately. Even if you do not wish for us to take action on your behalf, we want to maintain records about any such incidents.
At smaller meetings, all organisers and volunteers, including the persons in charge of the meeting, will be clearly introduced at the beginning and/or will be wearing identifying name tags.
At larger events such as conventions, all organisers and volunteers will wear distinctive lanyards and/or clothing identifying them and may be identified in the convention program. At larger events, phone numbers for venue staff, local police and local emergency medical personnel will also be provided to attendees to facilitate prompt responses to complaints and requests for assistance.
Reports of antisocial or harassing conduct will be promptly addressed. On some occasions, where organisers or volunteers witness hostile conduct, they may take immediate remedial action. Where a report of such conduct is made after the conduct has occurred, reasonable measures will be taken to establish the facts. This will typically include discussion with any witnesses and with the person(s) accused of engaging in the unwelcome conduct. Enquiries into such conduct will be carried out as confidentially as possible.
Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) Inc. will make written records of all complaints and incidents as soon as practicable. These records will be kept in accordance with this policy. All records will be maintained by the Secretary of the Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) Inc. and will not be disclosed to anyone outside the organisation except as required by law.
We thank you for adhering to this code of conduct and welcome you to all our events.